Over the past 16 years, Portland-based architectural firm Surround Architecture, Inc., has brought its user-focused design aesthetic to retail spaces, public parks, residential houses, and the corporate headquarters of companies like Dakine and Keen.
But as with any company that relies on large contracts, uneven cash flow was a regular challenge for Surround. “When we get new projects, we need to be able to pay our employees and buy equipment, and often times we won’t get paid for months,” explains owner and creative director Mark VanderZanden in this Credibly Story video.
After going through the difficult process of trying to borrow capital from banks, VanderZanden became a Credibly customer in 2015. “I turned to Credibly because it seemed as though it was going to be simple and easy, and it turned out to be quite easy,” VanderZanden says. “For me, it was a great learning experience, to see that there’s alternatives to conventional banks to get capital.”
Building a relationship with Credibly paid off immediately, and allowed VanderZanden to grow his business. “When I turned to Credibly, we had just received a new commission for a pretty large hotel project, and I was able to feel comfortable hiring staff and buying equipment that we needed.”
VanderZanden recently renewed his funding, and expects Surround Architecture to exceed $1.5 million in revenue this year, thanks in part to the funding support he got from Credibly.
“I found it super effective for us, and would recommend Credibly to other architects or other small business owners in a heartbeat,” VanderZanden says.
Getting customers through the door has never been a problem for Rochelle Hunter Mosley. The award-winning stylist has been the owner and creative force behind Salon 804 in Harlem since 1992, and these days it’s rare to find an empty chair.
“Me and my team see 30 to 50 people every day, and lot of people who come in for the first time will say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to get my hair done today, because you guys are so busy’,” Rochelle tells Credibly. “I don’t know a time that you’ll ever catch us not busy. It’s kind of like going to a great party — you stand against the wall, you fit in where you get in. Nobody wants to go to an empty party.”
Despite Salon 804’s steady and devoted clientele, Rochelle had larger goals for her business, including the launch of a branded line of hair care products, which required an infusion of capital. But as she explains in our new “Credibly Story” video, finding the right lender was a challenge.
“As a business owner, it’s very hard for us to get loans based on our credit and based on the type of money we have in the bank,” Rochelle says. She wasn’t able to get the loan she needed from banks, and found it hard to get straight answers when dealing with other alternative lenders.
Her experience with Credibly was different from the beginning. “There was no red tape, no lies. I felt like Credibly understood where I was trying to go and where I wanted to be in the next year or two. Everything was straightforward, and they got the job done.”
Rochelle has been a satisfied Credibly customer for the past two years, and her business has flourished in a way that it couldn’t have without the funding she received.
“I had these things on my vision board for years, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the capital,” Rochelle says. “I have the product line, I have the two books, I own the salon, and I’m a stylist. Without that capital, I wouldn’t have been able to make all of that happen.”
Rochelle is now studying trichology, so she can better care for the scalp health of her clients, and she recommends Credibly to all the small business owners she knows, thanks to the experience she’s had working with us.
“A lot of small business owners didn’t go to school for business, and a lot of us don’t really have all the information that we need to make our business successful,” Rochelle says. “What I got from Credibly is that they care and they understand the small business owner, and they’re really out to see us succeed.”
Get to know Rochelle Hunter Mosley in the video above, and visit Salon 804 on Facebook.